‘I’m in love with an older, married woman’

THE SEX ADVISOR - Eppy Halili Gochangco - The Philippine Star

Dear Eppy,

I'm a 23-year-old guy, still studying, and living with my parents.  I met a girl at the gym.  She's 35 years old and still looks young and pretty.  I fell in love with her.  The thing is, she's married and has two kids.  At first, we were just friends texting each other occasionally. She fell in love with me. We became really close and intimate. We occasionally go out and have lunch together. I'm so comfortable with her and she's comfortable with me.  She told me that she loves me. She makes me feel that I'm the only one for her. She gives me gifts. She risks everything to be with me.  

We always see each other at the gym because that's the only time we can be together. I don't know how it happened. It's just overwhelming. It's been two years and we've gone through a lot.  Sometimes we fight because she doesn't have enough time for me.  She can only give me three to five hours a day.  On weekends, she's with her family.  When I ask her if she's okay with her husband, she says they're civil, but he is a pain in the ass.

Right now, our feelings for each other are so deep.  Even though we fight, she still misses me and wants to be with me.  I trust and care for her.  Our situation is difficult. What should I do?  Even if I try to stay away from her, we still get back together.  I'm happy with her.  It's just that sometimes, it's not enough because of our situation.  She gives me love and affection, and I give her the best love.  What will I do?

Young love

Dear young love,

Everyone who is in love will do anything to be with the person they are in love with.  Right now, for you, the only people that matter are you and her.  No one else matters.  Not her children and especially not her husband.

When you fall in love with someone, your interaction with that person will trigger a response mechanism in your body that will make a certain chemical called oxytocin work.  This will make you feel pleasure whenever you are with this person.  According to Anderson and Middleton in an article in the journal New Scientist entitled “What is this thing called love?” the more you interact, the more the oxytocin works.  This chemical also makes you trust this person.  Thus, your statement, "I trust and care for her."  You trust that she's the only one who understands you, she's the only one who won't take money from you, she's the one who'll always love you, she's the only one who cares for your welfare, etc.  It's the oxytocin, not necessarily reality.

How does this answer your question?  Remember that she has a family.  The love she has for her child will be the greatest love she will ever experience.  The same chemical that makes her love you is the same chemical that makes her love her child.  I assume that you meant that you had sex with her when you said you were intimate.  In time, the sex will be less.  The time away from you will also have an effect.  That means time will take away the effects of oxytocin on her.  This goes the same for you.  At one point, you will feel less for her and she will feel less for you.  Do you know of a couple who's as in love with each other in the present as they were when they started falling in love in the past?  The answer is, "None."  That is why lots of married people separate or get divorced after a few years.  It's because after a number of years, the chemical does not work on them at all.  So, that will happen to you one day.  I know you will say that this love is the most special love and it's different.  But you know, Young Love, everyone who falls in love will say that.  It never lasts.  

You said she risked everything for you.  Yet, in your next paragraph you said she couldn't give you enough time.  In your eyes, the risk is ultimate.  But is it the ultimate risk?  Your perception that she "risked everything" might only be half of what she can risk.  She doesn't seem to risk enough if all you want is more time.  She's not risking that her husband might find out.  Ask yourself, "Why?"  Has she ever been in a relationship before with another man and knows that it doesn't last?  Does she have a need from her husband that you might not be able to provide?  Is she worried that the future of her child might be jeopardized by her relationship with you?  All of these questions and much more must be answered before you consider continuing this relationship with her.  By the way, women and men who are much older will always give gifts to young people they fall in love with.

She may be a special person to you.  If you're that happy then why are you in a dilemma?  Why do you feel it is difficult to be in that relationship?  I feel for you because you seem to feel you deserve more.  I agree with you.  You do.  Think about it.  How much time is she willing to give to make you happy?  I can almost hear you think, "If she can't give me that much time, then what does that mean about her love for me?"  I think you should listen to your thoughts.

If you decide to stop the relationship, all you have to do is lessen the frequency of touching her and exposing yourself to her.  Thomas Crook in his article "The Natural Love Drug," published in Prevention (2008) says that oxytocin will work more when you touch more.  He also says that this works for strangers as well.  So, doing the opposite will make you love her less.  Touching and hugging is a way of keeping the oxytocin working.  Try to be with people who are more affectionate, are positive, and would always touch you in a caring way.  This will help you wean yourself away from her. Eppy

* * *

E-mail: [email protected].

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